Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
She was born Vestal Freeman in 1929 in the
town of Fyffe, Alabama. I discovered her about 1999 when my daughter called to tell us to
watch "The Gaithers" TV show one night. I loved the way she could "belt out" gospel with a
southern gospel sound, yet absolute clarity of the words. She had desired to study for the
Metropolitan Opera at an early age, but her upbringing in the church life led Vestal to shift
her focus to gospel music. A chance meeting at a local tent revival at Albertville, Ala.,
introduced Vestal to Howard Goodman, and their union led to one of gospel music's most
successful vocal groups. In a music career that spanned over five decades, Goodman became one
of the most revered and honored singers in her genre. The two were married Nov. 7, 1949 and
were nearly inseparable until his death in November 2002 at 81. She chose Jesus as her Savior
at a young age.
Vestal Goodman became a pioneering gospel music
singer...known among here peers as the "Queen of Gospel Music"...who performed for half a
century, including a stint on "The PTL Club" with Jim and Tammy Faye
Goodman and her late husband, Howard "Happy"
Goodman, were part of The Happy Goodman Family act, which recorded 15 No. 1 gospel music
songs and performed more than 3,500 concerts. They were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall
of Fame in 1998.
In the mid-1980s, Howard and Vestal were regulars
on "The PTL Club" television show starring the Bakkers. The Goodmans left in 1988 after three
years on the show, and were not linked to financial improprieties as others on the show
"Jim and Tammy were two of the kindest, most
sincere Christians I ever met. Jim Bakker was not concerned about having a bunch of money,"
Vestal Goodman wrote in her 1998 autobiography, "Vestal!" About Jim Bakker's sexual encounter
with a church secretary, she wrote: "I understood moral failure; Jim was not the first, nor
unfortunately will he be the last, minister to make a foolish mistake."
The family began singing together in 1949 and
performed almost continuously through the late 1990s.
The Happy Goodman Family were original members of
"The Gospel Singing Jubilee" syndicated TV program that was a pioneer in gospel music
broadcasting. It appeared on more than 100 U.S. stations. She died at Celebration Hospital,
outside of Orlando, FL from complications of influenza. She & Howard are both buried (HERE) in Christ Church
Memorial Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.
***give me your comments about this
(posted 10 January 2004)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now